Porterdale annexation dropped

PORTERDALE - City Council members were told at a recent work session that a proposed annexation of seven properties that would close a gap between the city limits of Porterdale and Covington on Ga. Highway 81 will not take place.

City Manager Tom Fox told the council that not all affected property owners agreed to the annexation. Council members had stipulated at an earlier meeting that they would not agree to the annexation without the support of 100 percent of the affected property owners.

The annexation of the seven properties, totaling about 12 acres, became a topic of discussion after Lamar and Barbara Sowell asked that their three parcels on the south side of Ga. 81 be annexed into the city. The Sowells have a flea market and auto towing service storage lot on their property. Other property owners have a pawn shop, a welding business and two residences on their properties.

Porterdale Zoning Administrator Monty Hill said in February that annexation of the Sowells' property would create an unincorporated island of three properties on the northern side of Ga. 81, which is prohibited by state law.

Fox said one of the affected residential property owners declined to annex into the city. He pointed out that the city could still pursue the annexations under the 60 percent method, which requires that 60 percent of property owners and 60 percent of voters in the area agree. However, council members did not indicate support of using the 60 percent method, and Fox said he would notify Newton County that the Sowells' annexation petition would be withdrawn.

In addition to the 60 percent method, properties in Georgia may be annexed under the 100 percent method, in which 100 percent of affected property owners in an area seek to have their property annexed by signing a petition; and by the General Assembly through local legislation. Cities can also annex unincorporated islands totally surrounded by the city.

Alice Queen can be reached at alice.queen@rockdalecitizen.com.